What are community radio stations?
Community radio stations typically cover a small geographical area with a coverage radius of up to 5km and run on a not-for-profit basis. They can cater for whole communities or for different areas of interest – such as a particular ethnic group, age group or interest group. Community radio stations reflect a diverse mix of cultures and interests. For example, you can listen to stations which cater for urban or experimental music, while others are aimed at younger people, religious communities or the Armed Forces and their families.
A community radio station’s programmes will reflect the needs and interests of its audience. But rather than ‘talk at’ its community, the station should become a central part of it. This means creating direct links with its listeners, offering training opportunities and making sure that members of the community can take part in how the station is run. Community stations typically provide 81 hours of original and distinctive output a week, mostly locally produced. On average, stations operate with 74 volunteers who together give around 214 hours of their time a week.